Things the Chief Executive Can No Longer Say

November 26, 2008

Q: Who were our two greatest presidents?

A: Washington and Lincoln

More Thanksgiving history from Washington and Lincoln:

Thanksgiving History – The Thanksgiving Proclamation
New York, 3 October 1789

By the President of the United States of America: a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor–and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me `to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.’

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be — That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks — for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted — for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions–to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually — to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn [sic] kindness onto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord — To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease [sic] of science among them and us — and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

George Washington

Thanksgiving History – The Day

Proclamation Establishing Thanksgiving Day October 3, 1863

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence [sic], have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

Abraham Lincoln


First Thanksgiving Proclamation

November 26, 2008

Ah, the good old days when “In God We Trust” was a genuine expression of our country’s debt to, and utter dependence upon, its “Divine Benefactor.”  Happy Thanksgiving!

Henry Laurens’ first official act as the President (the 2nd President of the Continental Congress of the United States of America) was to preside over and vote for a Day of Thanksgiving and “to adore the superintending providence of Almighty God”. He was also a devoutly religious Christian. In his first letter to the States as President he wrote:

“Dear Sir, The Arms of the United States of America having been blessed in the present Campaign with remarkable Success, Congress have Resolved to recommend that one day, Thursday the 18th December next be Set apart to be observed by all Inhabitants throughout these States for a General thanksgiving to Almighty God. And I have it in command to transmit to you the inclosed extract from the minutes of Congress for that purpose.”

In CONGRESS
NOVEMBER 1, 1777
FORASMUCH as it is the indispensable duty of all men to adore the superintending providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with gratitude their obligation to him for benefits received, and to implore such farther blessings as they stand in need of; and it having pleased him in his abundant mercy not only to continue to us the innumerable bounties of his common providence, but also to smile upon us in the prosecution of a just and necessary war, for the defence and establishment of our unalienable rights and liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased in so great a measure to prosper the means used for the support of our troops and to crown our arms with most signal success:
It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive powers of these United States, to set apart THURSDAY, the eighteenth day of December next, for SOLEMN THANKSGIVING and PRAISE; that with one heart1 and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their DIVINE BENEFACTOR; and that together with their sincere acknowledgments and offerings, they may join the penitent confession of their manifold sins, whereby they had forfeited every favour, and their humble and earnest supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance; that it may please him graciously to afford his blessing on the governments of these states respectively, and prosper the PUBLIC COUNCIL of the whole; to inspire our commanders both by land and sea, and all under them, with that wisdom and fortitude which may render them fit instruments, under the providence of Almighty God, to secure for these United States the greatest of all human blessings, INDEPENDENCE and PEACE; that it may please him to prosper the trade and manufactures of the people and the labour of the husbandman, that our land may yet yield its increase; to take schools and seminaries of education, so necessary for cultivating the principles of true liberty, virtue and piety, under his nurturing hand, and to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth “IN RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE AND JOY IN THE HOLY GHOST.”
AND IT IS further recommended, that servile labour, and such recreation as, though at other times innocent, may be unbecoming the purpose of this appointment, be omitted on so solemn an occasion.
By order of CONGRESS,
HENRY LAURENS, President
GOD Save the UNITED STATES of AMERICA

The Real Story of Thanksgiving

November 26, 2008

The pilgrims had more reason to give thanks than having received help from friendly Indians in hard times.   They were also grateful for having learned the perils of socialism and the wisdom of individual responsibility before it was too late.

Writing in his diary of the dire economic straits and self-destructive behavior that consumed his fellow Puritans shortly after their arrival, Governor William Bradford painted a picture of destitute settlers selling their clothes and bed coverings for food while others “became servants to the Indians,” cutting wood and fetching water in exchange for “a capful of corn.” The most desperate among them starved, with Bradford recounting how one settler, in gathering shellfish along the shore, “was so weak … he stuck fast in the mud and was found dead in the place.”

The colony’s leaders identified the source of their problem as a particularly vile form of what Bradford called “communism.” Property in Plymouth Colony, he observed, was communally owned and cultivated. This system (“taking away of property and bringing [it] into a commonwealth”) bred “confusion and discontent” and “retarded much employment that would have been to [the settlers’] benefit and comfort.”


Wisdom from The Duke

November 24, 2008

Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.

-John Wayne


New WH Policy: Exploit Fear to Grab Power

November 21, 2008

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
-William Pitt

From Patterico.com:

The American people might be thinking that Barack Obama plans big things because our current crisis demands it. Under this view, the crisis is the problem, and big-government action is the solution.

But Obama’s Chief of Staff plans big things because our current crisis provides an opportunity to get it done:

“Rule one: Never allow a crisis to go to waste,” Mr. Emanuel said in an interview on Sunday. “They are opportunities to do big things.”

Under this view, the need to accomplish big-government action is the problem, and the crisis is the solution.

The quote is a few days old, but I haven’t seen much mention of it in the blogosphere, so I thought I’d highlight it for you.

Keep this in mind, people of America. Is Obama’s goal to fix the crisis — or to use it to accomplish other things that he wanted to accomplish anyway?

This isn’t a paranoid question. Rahm Emanuel said so.


Radioactive lobbiests

November 19, 2008

Just as the IAEA grimly reports on Iran’s breakneck nuclear progress and utter disdain for international cooperation,  it appears that fostering the illusion diplomatic promise is part of Iran’s strategy to buy what little time is needed to finish the job.

And our Congress has welcomed the messengers.


In defense of capitalism

November 18, 2008

Talk of a Big 3 bailout brings to mind Danny DeVito’s speech in the movie Other People’s Money.   Larry the Liquidator captures the destruction-creation cycle of capitalism.

This company is dead.

I didn’t kill it. Don’t blame me.

It was dead when I got here. It’s too late for prayers. For even if the prayers were answered and a miracle occurred . . . and the yen did this and the dollar did that . . . and the infrastructure did the other thing, we would still be dead.

You know why?

Fiber optics. New technologies. Obsolescence.

We’re dead, all right. We’re just not broke.

And do you know the surest way to go broke?

Keep getting an increasing share of a shrinking market. Down the tubes. Slow but sure.

You know, at one time there must have been dozens of companies making buggy whips. And I’ll bet the last company around was the one that made the best goddamn buggy whip you ever saw.

Now, how would you have liked to have been a stockholder in that company?

You invested in a business, and this business is dead. Let’s have the intelligence–let’s have the decency–to sign the death certificate, collect the insurance, and invest in something with a future.

“But we can’t,” goes the prayer. “We can’t, because we have a responsibility, a responsibility to our employees, to our community. What will happen to them?”

I got two words for that: who cares?

Care about them? Why? They didn’t care about you. They sucked you dry. You have no responsibility to them. For the last ten years, this company bled your money.

Did this community ever say, “We know times are tough. We’ll lower taxes, reduce water and sewer”? Check it out. You’re paying twice what you did ten years ago.

And our devoted employees who have taken no increases for the past three years . . . are still making twice what they made ten years ago.

And our stock, one-sixth what it was ten years ago.

Who cares?

I’ll tell you.

Me.

I’m not your best friend. I’m your only friend.

I don’t make anything? I’m making you money.

And lest we forget, that’s the only reason any of you became stockholders in the first place. You want to make money. You don’t care if they manufacture wire and cable, fried chicken, or grow tangerines! You wanna make money!

I’m the only friend you’ve got. I’m making you money.

Take the money. Invest it somewhere else. Maybe . . . maybe you’ll get lucky, and it’ll be used productively. And if it is, you’ll create new jobs and provide a service for the economy and, God forbid, even make a few bucks for yourselves.